The Magical Beauty Must Have + Rose Water

The last few month’s I have been noticing a lot of talk about Rose Water. From Youtubers like Nicole Guerriero ,to Vogue’s article French -Girls Beauty Rules.  So of course, I had to look into it…and now I’m obsessed. One of the best parts, it’s affordable. You can make your own, find it at a natural food store or your favorite beauty store like SEPHORA & ULTA.

There are so many benefits to this amazing bottle of floral goodness! 

  • Toner: Helps cleanse and illuminate  the face from the dirt and pollution of the day. Often recommend for acne- and rosacea-prone skin  because “it reduces bacteria on skin, decreases inflammation, and simultaneously hydrates and soothes the skin,” says Jessica Weiser, MD, a dermatologist at New York Dermatology Group in New York City. After cleaning your face either spray the rose water on a cotton ball or you can be a lazy babe like me and just spray it right on your face. Boom…. cleansed, less red, and glowing.
  • Makeup Remover— all in one
  • Freshin up & Glow – That moment in the middle of the day and you look in a mirror and think “oh,shit… I have been looking like this!” Rose Water is a great pick me up for dry, winter dull skin. Or for those hot days, spray away and cool off and look great!
  • Oily Skin – Not to worry – Rose Water helps balance the oil and tighten the pores.
  • Sunburn Treatment: Spritz the Rose Water on your Sunburn for instant relief. Check out my other post on my favorite natural ways to cure a sunburn.
  •  Hair softener: Mix rose water in your regular shampoo to get softer and fresher hair. Massaging your hair with rose water promotes hair-growth.  Spray it on your dry hair to bring it back to life and soften it up.
  • Dark circle & Puffy Eyes: Simply pat  a little rose water around your eyes to reduce both dark circles and puffy eyes.
If I even cry a little, the next day I look like Quasimodo, so this is needed.
*Find a Rosewater that has limited ingredients, to ensure you receive the best benefits from your Rose Water.
 What is your favorite must-have beauty secret?
X – A
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Fall Jacket Round Up

Amazing post on this season’s hottest jackets.

M&J Blog

Autumn season is near! Leaves are falling, layered outfits, and the perfect add-on to your outfits like scarves, hats, and of course the perfect jacket. Some of our favorite fall jackets include denim, wool, and of course, what is fall without the perfect leather jacket? What’s going to be your favorite jacket this upcoming fall season? Wool, a knitted sweater, perhaps just go sleeveless?

M&J Trimming - Banana Republic Fall 2015

Banana Republic is getting chic this Fall 2015. Already falling in love.

M&J Trimming - Red Leather Jacket

Burgundy leather jacket for fall ? Why yes, don’t mind if I do! Notice the exposed zippers on this beauty? And what is a leather jacket without some studs?

M&J Trimming - Vogue Sleeveless Jacket

Sleeveless with a drapery affect…irresistible!

M&J Trimming - Olive Jacket

Love everything about this outfit. Khaki has been taking over fashion strong this year.

M&J Trimming - Oversized Sweater

An over sized knitted sweater can be your go-to jacket alternative this fall.

M&J Trimming - Denim

Perfection. Denim jackets are always great for those cool breezy nights.

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Wedding Dress Shopping!

 

The Dress… the one and only dress… the most important dress you will ever wear….it has to be perfect… so much pressure and such a big decision… I was stressed lol.

A few weeks a go my mom flew into town and my soon to be sister in law came to join me and my local bridesmaids to find “the dress.”

With a smallish budget and no idea what I wanted, I figured starting at a big bridal store would be best. Since they often  have every cut, style, color and type there is. I first started at David’s Bridal, the poor consultant was trying to get an idea what I was looking for and I tried to tell her everything. 🙂

Me: ” Well I love simple and flowy but I also like a bit of glamour and fitted. I like lace but I also like the clean freshness of just simple white, I want something tight but I also like flowy .”  I am nuts!

The poor girl  just start pulling one of each and decided we would go from there!

I went into this little dressing room and had to put on a corset bra contraption and a skirt slip which solved my worries of not wearing matching undergarments or that the consultant being too modest and  seeing my cheeks… I got no shame in my buns game 🙂

Back to the dress…. I came out and everyone was in love! I loved it too… kind of. The illusion neckline was perfect and fitted with a lowered waistline where it flowed out beautifully. My hesitation was the lower waistline, it sat where I felt at my widest part of my hips… my friends and family disagreed.  So it was great but not the one.

The consultant wanted me to try the dress on with heels, so she brought over some shoes…. Not just shoes but  THE SHOES!  Shoes haven’t been on my mind during this wedding planning process but wall-‘ la my shoes…nothing but perfection.image

I felt like Carrie Bradshaw when she opens her new closet and see’s her blue heels.

I tried on several dresses and just couldn’t decide between flowy big skirt or fitted. Since I am short and look young, I don’t want to be seen as cute on my wedding day but  more of  holy shit she is gorgeous and sexy. 🙂

So, I needed a break and lunch.. In N Out…is  never not good. I started the day feeling bloated and having a “fat day” my amazing girl assured me that if I feel like that now and try on a dress and feel good in it, just imagine how I will feel when I don’t feel fat and bloated. This also justified me pigging out on In N Out before my other appointment. 🙂

Then we headed to my second appointment at a small beautiful bridal boutique called The Bustle. As I walked up, I saw my name on a chalkboard sign  welcoming me, I was instantly excited.  Once we stepped inside, we were all greeted with Champagne…. it was exactly what we all needed. 🙂

We pulled some dresses and got started.  Well, there was no slip this time…lol.  I stepped into several dresses that were not the one but THEN…..  I walked  out in one dress that had everyone in AWE.  It is the perfect mix of my fitted and flowy and it was The One! Time for another glass of Champagne!!

We were all thrilled and exhausted!  Now, I just wait and wait and wait and wait for it to be made. I hate waiting!

Some tips when going dress shopping:

1. Have some what of a vision but don’t be to stuck on one thing. Often you will be surprised. Each one of my consultants commented about how the things brides often say they don’t want, they end up loving it and getting it. 🙂

2. Don’t be too modest. The consultant was up close and personal with me and they did not seem to care a bit as she was  pulling the dresses over my bum.

3. Remember your budget, don’t try a  dress you cannot afford and keep alterations in mind. I was shocked at the cost of alterations. Each layer of your dress is extra in alterations. Look for shops that have free alterations included.  I opted for what is called a hallow hem to hopefully save on some alteration fees. Since I am short, I know I would need it hemmed and with 5 layers…. that was going to get really pricey. A hallow hem is when they measure from your neckline to the floor in the shoes you want or about the height you are going for and have it cut to that measurement instead of the standard. Which I think mine was 57 inched and I only needed 51.This cost an extra $100 but to have it hemmed at the original length would have cost me $300 + if I didn’t do the hallow hem.

** My mom and I realized whatever you think the cost is in regards to planning a wedding, make sure to add some extra on to everything for all the fees and taxes.

4. Wear a strapless bra this was the most helpful! They have pads for you which is amazing!!  The boob inserts were an epic difference 🙂 for those that need them. Underwear doesn’t seem matter, just some that don’t give you any indents.  I have read several things online that stress wearing really cute matching undergarments. Wear clean and comfortable for you!

5. Bring heels to smaller boutiques but if you go to larger stores like David’s bridal, they will give you shoes to wear and hope you will buy.

6.  Get honest feedback. I told my girls to be honest about everything and they were. They told me when my hips were looking wide, when it did nothing for me at all and when my boobs needed some extra somethin, somethin. lol. Along with how gorgeous I was in the others. 🙂

7. Eat! I was starving after one appointment and exhausted. I never thought it would be tiring but it really was!

8. Have fun and don’t focus on the dresses that don’t do it for you but keep your eye on the prize… the one that makes you feel amazing. It’s easy to get caught up in the ones that don’t fit, the size, the ones that were not flattering and all of  that can ruin your whole experience. You want to feel like Beyoncé all day 🙂 Don’t let negative self talk get you, know you are gorgeous and that when you find your dress you will have your moment! Your man loves you just the way you are and will think you are stunning in any dress. So have fun and feel like  the amazing bride you are and sip champagne. 🙂

9. Stay true to yourself. Don’t let your friends styles influence you into something that doesn’t represent yourself. It is easy to go with public opinion but only yours matter.

10. Have fun and take the moment in!

 

X- A

 

Bacon Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

You know those dinners that are so good that you are picking at it during the whole cooking process…. well Bacon crab stuffed mushrooms is that dish for me. This is a by taste recipe… Alex and our buddy Kellen made this happy creation and now it is a staple.

You can make this as low fat or low carb as you want.

Ingredients-

-Crab legs- chop it up!

-Red pepper- thinly diced…. about one big one.

-Onion-  thinly diced…. about the same amount as red pepper.

-Bacon– there is never enough… chop it up!

-Salt and pepper

-Cayenne or red pepper flakes- I like a little kick to it and I am not spicy eater.

-Moisture- We usually use some soft cream cheese and little sour cream- I know not the healthiest but it still is low carb 🙂  You can use mayo, yogurt or even an egg.  The cream cheese mix can also be used for a delicious dip. 🙂

-Parmesan- to Alex it is very important that it is fresh Parm. quarter for in the bowl and the rest for the end.

**Mix all the above and then stuff it into your mushrooms.

We use big portabellas and bake them on a rack to avoid the mushroom getting soggy.

The last few minutes is when you add fresh parmesan on top and put it in the broiler for a few minutes…. it creates a perfect little crust.

Ta daaa…. you have a delicious low carb/low fat however you like dish!

 

 

 

Wedding planning with your man.

Now we all know  the wedding day is all about the both of you… but let’s be real… the bride is the one that is making that day happen.  I am sure there are some exceptions out there. 🙂

When wedding planning began, I asked Alex what are some things he would like… his response ” I like when guys wear vans.” Well, Isn’t that helpful…

Then when it came to his attire for the day, he became full-blown groomzilla. Sorry, but a lime green tie isn’t happening. He is really fighting for his lime green tie… when I brought up the fact that my girls will not be wearing anything close to lime green, his response was classic… ” sorry, not everyone can look as good as me in lime green… but I am wearing it.”  This is coming from the guy that was wearing socks and Birkenstocks with basketball shorts…. which made him lose all credibility.

When it came to getting his thoughts on a wedding dress… he told me I can wear whatever I want, because he is going to wear what he wants.

I finally got him to look on Pinterest with me…. well,that was interesting. He would point out a mermaid cut …..Alex: ” what is that, why all this fluff shit ( as he waves his hands around the photo)

Me:  Okay on to the next…..

him: Why are there flowers… that’s dumb…and the next… I mean that’s not bad…

me: What do you like about it ?

Him: I don’t know… it isn’t as bad as the others.

me: how about this nice low back?

him: I mean.. you’re naked…. ( coming from a guy that has never expressed me having to be modest)

me: WHAT….. well, you no longer have say!

Sums it all up lol.

I have realized that Alex has no idea about weddings and he has realized this too and finally said..” “Babe, it seems I do better when options are presented and I just say yes or no.”

So true… when wedding talking with my girlfriend and fellow bride planning a wedding, she was having the same issues with her groom.  They either have no idea or elaborate ideas they won’t let go of.

A strategy is then needed…. only present what you would be comfortable with and then it gives him some freedom to pick within boundaries. 🙂

With Alex’s busy chef  schedule I ended up making a secret pinterest board for the both of us and downloaded the app on his phone. This way I could pin all the things I wanted to run across him and he could check it out on his downtime.

I started to feel bad that once he came home, I started asking so many wedding questions or trying to show him things…. that was a little over whelming for him. The board helped solve that problem.

He actually really likes this pinterest board for us and has even suggested making one that is called ” done deal” which means we approved it and that is what we are going with.

I want to make sure that our wedding day represents both of us but I want to be realistic in the fact if I let him have a free range… it would be a total mess. 🙂

Some tips on wedding planning with your man:

1. ask him to describe what he has always thought of when thinking of his wedding day.

2.  Get the vibe…. use adjectives to get a description down.  Whimsical, industrial, rustic… etc

3. Create a Pinterest board for both of you… and explain to him how it works.

4.  Make a list of what’s  most important for him. Alex wanted great food and venue… he said he wanted to feel “wowed.”

5. Don’t provide ideas or pictures of things you are not willing to have part of your day.

6. Have fun and remember it’s suppose to be a wedding of two loves and  not a birthday party. 🙂

Happy planning 😉

X- A

The Ultimate Wedding planner & checklist!

 

Well, I didn’t think I could love Google docs/drive more than I already did… but it’s official, I do! Google has an entire comprehensive wedding planning checklist and spreadsheets for everything…. with all the formulas already done for you!!! Who needs to count when Google does it for you!! 🙂  I feel much better about using google vs the other random wedding site for tracking all my wedding details. Checkout this wedding planning lifesaver—> Google Weddding

What is your go to for wedding planning?

X- A

My go to protein bar!

Seems everyone has their go to favorite protein bar/shake to get them through the morning or a good mid day snack or lunch. What I have discovered is that a lot of protein/power bars are filled with carbs,sugar and tons of calories.

Then I found my love of Atkins bars and shakes, they are filled with protein and have very few carbs and calories. They don’t taste chalky or “dietiy”   Like most protein bars. They are a little pricey. I try to purchase them at Target or Walmart since they seem to be almost a $1 cheaper there verse the grocery store. They do have good sales pretty often, so just stock up.  I keep these bad boys with me all the time, so I avoid a “hangery” state lol.

Share with me your favorite way to eat healthy when in a rush and really hungry!

x- A

Dark Western | Fall Fashion 2014

Fall is just around the corner and I couldn’t wait to share  the Dark Western fall fashion trend! I am loving it!
  ** Look out for the rest of the up coming  fall fashion trends here on B.D!
 X- A.

The start of Wedding planning!

 

So that day comes you are officially engaged and now you have to plan a wedding…..

I was naive and didn’t think it would be so hard and there would be so many things to think about… Well, there is!!!!

There seems to be an enormous amount of wedding blogs out there, but I am hoping these post are straight forward, no bullshit wedding planning insight.

Like many, I have had a long time running “Wedding” board on Pinterest and I instantly refereed to it. The downside is for many it is unrealistic to be able to afford these “Pinterest perfect” weddings. I am pretty crafty but there is no crafting to be had when finding a venue for a reasonable price or catering.

So first things first…budget! Be prepared for your budget to change but try and be as strict as possible unless you don’t need to be… than just have fun!

When looking for a venue I used several sites such as Here comes the guide,Wedding Wire,Wedding Spot and Google.

I live in San Diego but I am originally from the Bay Area… Sonoma county to be more exact.. and that is where Alex and I plan on getting hitched.

My plan had been to rent a lovely home on some property and have the wedding there. Well, Sonoma County decided to ruin that plan. They no longer allow vacation rentals to be used for events/weddings larger than 15.  Sucks for me… than they even decided to have a 10 pm NO amplified music ordinance!! Geez, cut me a break here.

Then it was time for plan B-Z ….. We started calling, emailing and collecting brochures of the first round venues. That didn’t go so well either…

for example: I called a place that has a re-purposed barn and some lovely property. I asked about the fee and was told $9,000 just for the four walls and property for 5 hours. I happen to ask about the restrooms and I was then informed that there is a beautiful bathroom for the bride and groom but we would have to rent a port-a-potty trailer for my guest. Are you F***ing kidding me…WHAT… how is that allowed?!?!!?  I obviously moved on…

I found that city buildings,churches schools and cultural centers were the most affordable. Most of the places you have to bring in outside vendors for everything. Just always make sure to ask what the rules and regulations are…such as decorations,outside vendors, times,music,alcohol…etc.

It got to a point I was seeing so many numbers and having to add taxes and fees etc that I was boggled. So, I just emailed the coordinators of the venue and asked for them to provide me with a full proposal with all fees and taxes included etc. It made it so helpful to see everything all at once all added up with no  unexpected fees.

I at first stayed clear of golf courses and country clubs because I don’t want to have a “cookie cutter” wedding. I did find that golf courses seemed nicer than I thought… and.. they provide everything = less stress and coordinating.

Think outside of the box but be realistic on what you and your team can accomplish on the wedding day.  We contemplated self catering since Alex is a chef…. but that is just way to much worry and work. 🙂

Make a list of what is the most important aspect of the wedding to you and that will help you know how your budget will be dispersed.

Don’t lose hope and stay optimistic…. because it can get stressful and some times you may feel defeated BUT ultimately it is about you and your partner’s love 🙂

I will be posting all about my wedding planning up’s and downs, tips and tricks and everything in between.

Please share anything that helped you in your wedding planning process or any questions you may have! I would love to hear all about it!

x- A